The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has lamented the rejection of a bill seeking special status for Lagos State by the Senate, adding that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was the reason the state has not been granted a special status.
The Senate had last week rejected a bill sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu to grant Lagos a special status
Akiolu, who spoke on Tuesday at the ‘2016 3rd Quarter Town Hall Meeting’, held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, explained that Obasanjo had the opportunity to grant Lagos the special status during his eight-year tenure, but never did it in spite of the pressure mounted on him.
Akiolu said, “Obasanjo is the reason Lagos has not got a special status. I personally led eminent Lagosians to meet him during his tenure to ask for a special status for Lagos. Obasanjo told me and others that he had already drafted the special status plan for Lagos, but the former president never fulfilled that promise. If he had done it then, the issue of its rejection by the Senate would not arise.
“Had late Umaru Yar’Ardua been alive, he would have got Lagos a special status. Yar’Ardua promised to get Lagos a special status. If Yar’Ardua had not died, he would have fulfilled that promise.”
The monarch, however, expressed optimism that Lagos would still be accorded a special status in the nearest future.
The monarch urged the promoters of the bill to go back to the drawing board and represent the bill.
Akiolu also expressed worry over the spate of kidnapping in Lagos despite the efforts of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to beef up security.
He called for the establishment of a committee to work with the police to stop kidnapping.
Also speaking, a House of Representatives member, Jide Jomoh, said what Senator Tinubu asked was one per cent economic assistance from the federation account to Lagos, adding that the issue would not die.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Tajudeen Olusi, added that a special status for Lagos was necessary.
Ambode said the success of the bill was in the interest of Nigerians.